Things You Need To Take Care Of After Heart Surgery

Heart Surgery or cardiac procedures are major surgical procedures that might be necessary when you are suffering from major heart complications. Open heart surgery is recommended by the doctor when the patient suffers from any cardiac defects or dysfunction. After open heart surgery, the recovery phase is very important. Complete and clean recovery after heart surgery makes sure that the person lives a healthy life in the future. There are many precautions and steps to take after heart surgery to ensure post-op care. The post-op recovery period for heart surgery is long. Sometimes, it can be 6 to 8 weeks before the person completely recovers. During this time, the person should be careful and focus completely on proper recovery.

In this article, the care to be taken after open heart surgery is mentioned for the awareness of a patient.

Steps in after-surgery care of cardiac procedures

There are many aspects of after-surgery care for patients and primary caregivers. From wound cleaning to pain management, the patient has to deal with many things before making a complete recovery. Precautions and certain medicines can improve the recovery pace.

Wound Healing

Wound healing is important because complete healing is a sign of proper recovery and healthy life ahead. The wound needs special care throughout the recovery phase. For example, the patient has to keep the wound area clean and dry so that new infections do not take place. After a few days of the surgery, the patient can take a bath. However, make sure that you use soap and water and dry the area properly. The patient should eat a vitamin-rich diet so that healing is aggravated. During the wound healing period, the caregiver should monitor the patient for signs of inflammation like fever, redness and oozing around the wound.

Pain relief

After a major surgery like a cardiac procedure, pain relief and management are very important. As the wound heals and time goes by, the patient will experience itching and tightness in the wound area. Slowly, the pain will subside as the wound and internal parts heal. The doctor will prescribe pain management medication to the patient. The patient should follow the dosage plan for the medicines properly. If you go through bypass surgery, then you will face more pain in your legs. The soreness and stiffness go away with time for the patient. The doctor also suggests some basic exercises to keep your body active in the recovery period. Slow regaining of activity is important to maintain heart health after surgery.


Heart activity and health is monitored every day of the recovery period. The doctor will suggest you check your pulse rate frequently. If the pulse rate is not regular, the patient should inform the doctor at the earliest. The doctor will also ask the patient to keep track of his weight so that it is under the healthy weight range.

Activity and driving

After the surgery, it is important to go back to physical activity. Brisk exercises like walking and strength training will help the patient in regaining activity and strength. This is the first step in going back to a healthy life. The doctor might also suggest simple yoga exercises. This process takes around 6 to 8 weeks. During the initial days, the doctor advises against standing for an extended period of time or lifting heavy things. Moving heavy things and too much strain on the body can negatively affect the heart.

The patient should not go back to driving or climbing stairs without the recommendation and green signal of his doctor. For some weeks, the patient should not be behind the wheel. In the case of open heart surgery, the waiting period is higher. However, the patient can undertake a car journey as long as he is a passenger.

Diet changes

The doctor will also recommend certain foods and diet changes so that the patient recovers at a faster rate. The doctor will also tell you to avoid certain foods and drinks during the recovery period. For better heart health, these dietary changes are necessary. Often, patients will feel a loss of appetite right after the surgery. As the body recovers, the patient should go for smaller meals frequently. A good diet pattern will help people in making up for the nutrients needed for recovery and rehabilitation. The body heals itself at a faster pace if all the required nutrients are provided. The patient will regain his appetite within a few weeks.

During the recovery period, the patient should be aware of his body and its needs. The patient and caregiver should keep the doctor in the loop of any development so that he can assist during the recovery period. Any post-op complications should be quickly communicated to the cardiologist so that the patient can be treated in time.

Read more health blogs about heart hospital.

By Cary Grant

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